Nova Scotia reports 86 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, active cases drop to 1,509
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting 86 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 1,509.
The 86 new cases is Nova Scotia's lowest single day increase since April 30.
"I'm pleased to see that our new case number is a double-digit figure for the first time in more than two weeks," said N.S. Premier Iain Rankin in a release. "Thanks to the sacrifices of Nova Scotians, we're seeing hopeful signs of a downward trend. However, we must stick with the restrictions and public health measures to stop the spread while we continue to vaccinate more and more Nova Scotians."
In a news release from the province, it says 66 of the cases are in the province's Central zone, 11 are in the Eastern zone, four are in the Western zone, and five are in the Northern zone.
"Today's new case number shows that things are heading in the right direction, and the hard work we're doing is helping to slow the spread," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "We all must continue to follow the public health protocols to bring those numbers down and be in a position to start re-opening in June."
Health officials say there is evidence of community spread in Nova Scotia's Central zone.
Public Health says the province’s other zones– Eastern, Northern, and Western– are being monitored for signs of community spread.
One of the cases in Central Zone involves a staff member at The Ivy Meadows, a long-term care facility in Beaver Bank. At the direction of public health and as an added precaution, residents and staff from the affected unit are being tested. Most residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
The province says 115 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 1,509.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 10,272 tests on Friday, bringing the total number of tests since the pandemic began to 718,984.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett says testing numbers have dropped recently, and she wants all Nova Scotians to make COVID-19 testing a routine, weekly occurrence.
"I always remember that this is a virus that spreads without symptoms," said Barrett. "Unless we are testing everyone. And lots of people are getting regular testing; we are going to be missing some folks in the community."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,610 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 3,030 cases have recovered and 72 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 96 individuals in hospital, 23 of which are in the intensive care unit.
Since April 1, there have been 2,868 positive COVID-19 cases and six deaths. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Of the new cases since April 1, 1,354 are now considered resolved.
There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.
The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 235 cases (75 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,805 cases (1,252 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 226 cases (56 active case)
- Eastern Zone: 344 cases (126 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 30, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Friday, 415,570 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 38,830 are Nova Scotians who have received their second dose.
As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 466,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, says as of Thursday, 45 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have had one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
He says the province is ahead of schedule in regards to getting everyone vaccinated.
Also on Friday, the province announced Nova Scotians aged 35 to 39 are now eligible to begin booking appointments for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Strang says they are also looking into the time between first and second doses, and if it can be shortened at this time.
"Second-dose appointments are automatically booked 105 days after the first-dose appointment but we may be able to move that timeline up and also allow more flexibility in the location where you can get immunized," said Strang.
CHANGES TO ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING STRATEGY
In order to address the test result backlog, Nova Scotia is shifting their COVID-19 asymptomatic testing strategy.
In the interim, most Nova Scotians are encouraged to use pop-up testing sites instead of booking a COVID-19 lab test over the next few days.
Individuals under the following categories are still encouraged to book lab tests:
- anyone with symptoms
- anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
- anyone who has been at an exposure location
- anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
Public health says anyone who does not meet the above criteria and has already booked an appointment should cancel it following the instructions provided in their confirmation email.
The province says they are making an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop-up testing locations being provided on Saturday include:
- Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
- Bridgewater Cineplex, 349 Lahave St from noon to 6 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School, 364 Herring Cove Rd from noon to 7 p.m
- Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax from noon to 7 p.m.
- John Martin School - 7 Brule St. Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
COVID ALERT APP
Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Nova Scotia.
The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
There were a series of exposures released by Nova Scotia Health on Friday evening. For a list of the latest exposures, you can go the exposures page on the Nova Scotia Health website.
LIST OF SYMPTOMS
Anyone who experiences a fever or new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose/nasal congestion